A/N: After a couple of one-shots I`m back with another long story. This time it`s AH – and set in Scandinavia again. Sookie is from Louisiana and dating Bill, but is lured to Norway by a huge blond guy. Soon she is going to need a work permit…
I`ve tried to keep Sookie and Eric the way we know them from the books even if they are all human. So prepare for a hedonistic Eric and a stubborn Sookie. I hope you like them!
I want to thank Rascalthemutant for saying yes to beta yet another story for me. I could not have done this without you, Rascal! And three cheers to the girls at the Alexander Skarsgård Library Forum for all the fun and laughs I get there.
“Bill has disappeared.” Eric looked at me.
Pam nodded and the new guy, I thought I heard him introduced as Chow but wasn’t sure if that was his first or last name, just looked at me.
“Disappeared?” Was all I could say.
I was still warm from the shower and had started to feel a little better when they threw this at me. I just stared at them. Then I felt my head getting lighter and the last thing I heard was Pam saying in a dry voice.
Two hours earlier:
He was wearing jeans, a vest and flip-flops. Period.
Well, he could be wearing underwear too, but somehow I doubted it.
He was huge, blond and standing in the airport with a sign saying “Sookie Stackhouse”.
I was also blond, but that’s where all comparison ended. I was much shorter, wearing way too warm clothes and I felt like I had been travelling for 15 hours. Which I had.
“Sookie Stackhouse. That’s me.” I walked over to him and tried to smile through my exhaustion.
“Ah, Bill’s girlfriend. Welcome.” He smiled and shook my hand. I was almost worried about him breaking my fingers in his huge hand, but he just felt warm and strong.
“I’m Eric Northman, Bill’s boss. You are probably tired. Come on, we’ll get you home and your feet up.”
His accent was odd, but charming. I figured I would have to get used to that accent. I hadn’t been travelling half way around the globe to stay for a weekend. I had come to live with Bill and I had a six months visa in my pocket. I did not have a work permit, but Bill had talked me into coming anyway. “Now you can write the book you have always talked about”, he had said in his e-mail and I had agreed to live in his apartment, eat his food and spend his money. I did not enjoy that I was going to be a `kept woman`, but that had been the only way I could be close to Bill now that he had moved to this God-forsaken country.
I looked around.
“I’m so sorry. He couldn’t make it. You’ll just have to make do with little, old me instead.” He waggled his eyebrows.
He wasn’t old, my estimate was early thirties, and he certainly wasn’t little. He was almost 7 feet, had broad shoulders and arms that would go two times around my waist. Or so it seemed. He was Bill’s opposite in so many ways. Bill, my boyfriend, was much shorter, dark and had a refined Southern look where Eric looked as if he had stepped out of the Viking Age and put on flip-flops.
“He couldn’t make it?” My voice gave me away and my eyes filled up with tears. I hated flying and yet I had spent the last 15 hours on airplanes and in airports just to find that my boyfriend of 2 years hadn’t even bothered to show up at Oslo airport to pick me up.
“Come on, come on. He would have been here if he could, I’m sure. Let’s get you home and freshened up a bit.” He bent down and sniffed at my neck and I took one step back and stared at him.
“You need a shower.” He winked at me.
“Your hair is dirty and your smell could knock down a horse.” He laughed a loud laugh.
He took my luggage cart and started walking towards the exit. I had to run to keep up with his speed.
“So I come all the way to Norway to visit my boyfriend and all I’m met with is his boss offending me?” I almost yelled.
“No, I’m just trying to make you feel better.” He looked over his shoulder to me, still with a huge smile on his face.
“By telling me that my breath could knock down a horse?” I couldn’t believe this.
“No, by telling you that you are just a car ride away from taking a shower. And the car ride is with me. Most girls would jump at that opportunity.”
“I’m not most girls.” I muttered.
“No, I figured that much.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
He didn’t answer, just walked on with me running behind him. We were out the doors heading towards the parking lot when I felt the sun warm me up even more. The old English saying `Horses sweat, men perspire, women only glow` would mean that I was a horse. Well, that would fit since I apparently could knock down one with my breath.
I was definitely wearing too warm clothes, but who could blame me? I’m from Louisiana and the prospect of going to Norway, way up there by the Polar Circle, would have made any Southern girl dress in thick sweaters and warm coats. How was I supposed to know it could be hot here?
I looked around and realized everyone was wearing skirts, shorts and t-shirts. That made me even warmer.
“Please stop. I need to take off my coat and sweater.”
Eric stopped and looked at me with an ironic smile.
“Did you think you were going to the North Pole?”
“Well, it’s awfully close.”
After having taken off my coat, I pulled off my sweater, but that just made me realize that Eric was right. I didn’t exactly smell of flowers and I turned red from embarrassment. This was not how I had wanted to meet Bill’s boss and I started mentally preparing the lecture I was going to give Bill. Why hadn’t he been here?
We came to a tiny, red car. I gaped. I had imagined that an ostentatious, and probably wealthy guy like Bill’s boss, would have a huge car – possibly a sports car. Eric saw my face and laughed.
“It’s an electric car called THiNK. It’s Norwegian and I own part of the company so I really ought to have one myself, don’t you think? Electric cars are the future.” His hand caressed the car as if it had been a pet.
“And it doesn’t hurt my image that I’m involved in something that might save the planet.” He smiled.
“I still have a couple of sports cars, but the tabloids are all over me when I use one of them.” He rolled his eyes.
We got into the car and because of its size, I had to sit way too close to him. I felt even worse when his clean and manly smell hit my nostrils.
Soon we were out on the freeway, going slower than most of the traffic.
“Damned electric car.” Eric muttered.
After quite a drive, we were in the center of Oslo. Just behind what Eric had explained was the royal castle, he drove into the drive way of a charming old wooden house. Eric parked outside the house, pulled my bags from the car, and nodded his head towards the building.
“Here is where you’ll be staying.”
I looked up and smiled. It looked great and it was in the middle of the city. My smile cracked when I saw the name on the door. ‘Eric Northman’.
“This is your house?”
“Yes, this is my house.” He said with pride in his voice. “I’ve lived here since I was a kid.”
“But why would I live in your house?” I asked.
“I’ll explain it to you later. Come on in now.”
We walked up the stairs and into what I would define as a very Scandinavian house. In the middle of the living room he had a huge couch and from the couch a blond woman looked up at us.
“So how did the THiNK do on the freeway?” She said with an innocent smile. Eric growled.
She came over to me.
“You must be Sookie?” She took my hand. “I’m Pamela, Eric’s half-sister.”
Her English had a very British accent. She looked as healthy as a milk maid. If milk maids wore high class brands and stylish pumps, that is. I felt even more like the poor cousin from the countryside. The smelly, poor cousin from the countryside.
As if she could read my thoughts, she asked me if I wanted to take a shower.
“Oh, yes.” I would have hugged her had I had there not been the danger of my smell knocking her over, according to her half-brother.
And soon I was standing in the loveliest shower in the largest bathroom I had ever used. I could have used a bucket of water to shower in by the state of me, but I was definitely not saying no to a luxurious shower instead.
Pamela, or Pam as she insisted I call her, had laid out a thick and long bathrobe for me. I pulled it on and with a towel around my hair and a smile on my lips, I went out to thank my hosts.
Eric and Pam were not alone in the living room. A guy with black hair and East-Asian features looked up.
“This is Chow. He is my manager of security.” Eric explained. “And there is something we need to talk to you about.”
They told me about Bill missing and the news combined with exhaustion and lack of food made my body cave in. Embarrassingly enough, it decided to faint.
When I came to, I was on the couch and Eric was on his knees with his face very close to mine. I became aware of my breath and as he was somewhat smaller than the horse I apparently could kill, I kept my mouth closed shut. Now why hadn’t I unpacked my toothbrush?
“She’s awake.” Eric informed the others.
“Good. I don’t have all day.” Pam said in a dry voice.
I got up to a sitting position.
“Well, excuse me for fainting.” I said in a sarcastic tone of voice. “Would you mind telling me what’s going on? Where is Bill and how did he go missing? And why are the police not here?”
They looked at each other. I didn’t like that look.
“The police are not here because we have not reported him missing.” Eric explained. I started to speak, but he held up his hand to stop me.
“We don’t know where Bill is or he wouldn’t have been missing, now would he? He left three weeks ago on a business trip and never returned.”
“THREE WEEKS AGO? And you are telling me this now?” I couldn’t believe my own ears. Suddenly I realized something.
“But Bill invited me to come two weeks ago. Why would he do that if he wasn’t here?”
Eric, Pam and Chow exchanged looks. I’m no telepath, but I knew something bad was coming.
“Pam, Chow, leave me alone with Sookie.”
When Pam and Chow had left the room, Eric sat next to me on the couch. He had his arm on my shoulder and sat way too close for comfort.
“What do you know about Bill’s job?” He looked me deep in the eyes.
“Well, I don’t really know much apart from the fact that he has worked for you for quite some time, but even when he worked out of Louisiana, he never told me much. And when he moved to Norway 3 months ago, he stopped talking about his job all together. I mean, I know you are working on some kind of a computer game since that’s what your company does, but apart from that… nothing.”
“I find that hard to believe.” Eric said with cold, blue eyes trying to dig their way into my brain through my eyes.
I didn’t tell him that Bill had almost stopped calling me or sending me e-mails after he had moved over. And he was never available on the chat anymore. This was why I had jumped at his invitation and had come over like a love-sick puppy. Normally I would have felt bad about accepting an invitation like that. But I had just been so pleased to hear from Bill again, the old lovable Bill, that I had thrown my clothes into a suitcase, quit my job and taken the first plane.
And now I was told that it wasn’t Bill who had invited me. I could kick Bill. I could kick Eric too, come to think of it.
“Why on earth did you invite me over on false pretences?” My voice was a little high pitched, but I couldn’t help it.
“We felt you would be more motivated to come if Bill seemed to ask you to.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and got up and literally stomped my foot in the ground.
“What the hell?” The Puritans who argued that swearing was only used by people, whose vocabulary was too poor for them to express themselves without swearing, were right in my case. I had no words and just repeated “what the hell?” while marching out of the room.
Before I got to the door, Eric had overtaken me and stood in my way.
“It is most likely that you know what he is up to and we want you to tell us.” He said, grabbing my shoulders with his huge hands.
“Why haven`t you alerted the police if you are so worried about Bill?”
“I’m not worried about Bill, I’m worried about the secrets he took with him. Bill is a corporate spy and he could destroy my company if he is not stopped.”
“Huh?” Was all I could say.
A/N: Thank you for reading this. I hope you liked it!
You probably noticed that I`m picking out bits from the books and using it in the story. Which scene is your favorite in the books? Maybe I can use it in my story 😉